Ma’alot Massacre, Israel, 15 May 1974

By John Farnam

Galil Maimon carrying his sister Tzippi after the massacre at Ma'alot, became the symbolic picture of the terrorist outrage.
Galil Maimon carrying his sister Tzippi after the massacre at Ma’alot, became the symbolic picture of the terrorist outrage.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( It’s been over forty years, but I well remember the massacre at Ma’alot, where over a hundred people, mostly high-school students, were held hostage for two days by Islamic terrorists.

Only three terrorists were involved. The event demonstrates how much death and destruction can be accomplished by a relatively small group of dedicated, and suicidal, terrorists.

After a two-day standoff, Israeli Commandos stormed the school building where hostages were being held, but twenty-five kids were murdered [with grenades and machine guns], and seventy were wounded. A handful escaped unharmed. All three terrorists were shot to death by the Israelis.

Immediately prior to the school take-over, the terrorist trio invaded a local home, apparently chosen at random, and precipitously murdered a father, mother, and several children, including an four-year-old.

They also stood in the middle of a local road and fired upon an approaching vehicle, murdering two before the driver could withdraw.

So many, similar attacks have occurred since, we tend to forget, but those who lived through Ma’alot haven’t!

The purpose of this historical narrative is to remind all of us that Islamic terrorists haven’t changed methods during recent history. In fact, they haven’t changed in 1500 years!


  • Put together a small group of murderous ideologues, who have no concern for human life. Even a “group” of only one can be effective, as we have seen.
  • Knock on a door. When it is opened, shoot whoever answers, then go inside and shoot everyone else.
  • Murder at random, having no regard for victims.
  • Take hostages, preferably children, with the intent of murdering them all in any event. Prolong the agony by making preposterous demands. Hold out as long as possible. Accept your own violent death as part of the outcome.


Don’t allow yourself to believe you’re too small, to insignificant, and too isolated to be selected for violent attack by terrorists. Government officials, to no one’s surprise, have spared no expense protecting themselves.

They rest of us must provide our own protection.

It matters not your ethnicity, religion, economic status, age, nor political flavor. Lowering your personal profile is always good practice, but ultimately we are all considered “fair game” by terrorists, and “expendable” by our government.

Thank Heaven for the 2nd Amendment! Take advantage of it. Be always prepared to defend yourself with precision gunfire. It is, by far, the most effective deterrent of all, vastly superior to all other martial arts and personal strategies. The unarmed have no chance!

Don’t become a hostage! Hostages rarely fare well. Do not surrender to terrorists. Shooting it out with them is ultimately much safer, and infinitely more satisfying!

Don’t foolishly believe someone else cares about you more than you care about yourself. Naive believers is the “guardian-angel theory” live short and unhappy lives. Know and understand that you are on your own!

It is going to get worse, for all of us. Time to get moving!

“Have a bias toward action. Let’s see something happen. You can break that big plan into small steps, and take the first step right now!” ~ Indira Gandhi


Victims of the 1974 Massacre at Ma'alot
Victims of the 1974 Massacre at Ma’alot

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bart A. Canada
Bart A. Canada
6 years ago

Interesting points to be well taken and well prepared